The coal bunker

Back in the 1960s, seeing a parent smack a child was quite commonplace, and even in public it was not unusual to see an angry mom smack the back of a naughty child’s legs or clothed bottom in a supermarket or bus queue – accompanied by tears and a scolding that was loud enough for all around to hear. A child’s bad behaviour, temper or attention-seeking tantrum, unlike today, would simply not be tolerated.

I too was not immune to such instant punishments, and can recall being smacked on the legs on quite a few occasions. Thinking back, I now wonder if many of those sharp smacks I saw given out in public were followed up with a more substantial spanking administered in the privacy of the child’s own home. No doubt some of these children went to bed with very sore bottoms indeed!

My mom was quite a frequent spanker and used it as her principal means of keeping myself and my brother in order. Some of these spankings have become a bit of a blur after all these years. However, some were more memorable than others and stay quite vividly in my memory. 

I have already told you about a smacked bottom I received for covering my brother in tomato ketchup – the spanking I’m going to recount here happened a few years later one summer evening, when I was aged around ten. 

Me and my brother (who is four years younger than me) were playing in the garden. At that time, coal fires were still very much the norm in many homes, and many had coal bunkers of one form or another in their gardens, where every week the local coal man would pour a sack of coal into the top. The fuel was then scooped out with a shovel through a hatch in the bottom, as required. Our bunker was made of concrete, about 4ft square and the same high, and we boys were playing on it.

I can’t now recall if my brother just fell, or whether I pushed him, but either way he fell off the bunker and landed awkwardly on his side – accompanied, as you would expect, by an immediate outburst of wailing and crying.

My parents rushed into the garden to see what the matter was. They found me standing on the bunker and my brother on the ground in floods of tears. I was ordered down as immediate attention was given to my brother. His right forearm was bent at an unusual angle, and it was pretty obvious it was broken.

Through a mixture of anger and concern, it was assumed that I was the guilty party, and though I got upset as well, my mother ordered me indoors, with the ominous words: “Wait in the kitchen – I’ll deal with you shortly!” My upset went up several degrees with that statement, as I already suspected what that meant.

Meanwhile, my brother continued to cry steadily with the pain and shock. Dad got the car out and took him off to the local hospital. They subsequently returned several hours later, my brother sporting quite a substantial plaster cast on his arm.

While they were gone, Mom stormed into the kitchen and started berating me about my behaviour. “What on earth do you think you were doing? You should be looking after your little brother! I expect you to show some responsibility at your age, but no – you’ve been a bad, bad boy!”

As she continued to scold me, Mom pulled a chair out from the dining table and swung it out in front of the fireplace. Grabbing my arm, she pulled me over to stand before her as she sat herself down.

I remember very clearly that she was wearing a knee-length apron, tied around the waist, over a red patterned tweed skirt and white blouse. In a swift movement, she flattened any creases on her lap, then began to undo my shorts. I tried to persuade her that it wasn’t my fault, but she was in no mood to listen – my shorts fell to my ankles, my pants quickly followed and in moments I was bare-bottomed.

Mom roughly pulled me over her lap, and before I knew it, I was staring at the square-patterned linoleum that covered our kitchen floor. My buttocks were now fully exposed for Mom to do as she wished with them – and what she had in mind for them was a long, hard spanking!

With no let up or pause, the spanking itself began. Time and again, I felt my mother’s hard hand striking my lower bottom cheeks just above my thigh crease. She smacked and smacked and smacked. I tried to wriggle away but she had me pinned in position. I tried to kick but my clothes were dangling around my ankles. I was totally stuck – and despite all my tears and crying, all I could do was lie there and take my punishment.

I don’t know how long Mom spanked me for, but my bottom was on fire – the pain of every smack coursed through my body.

Finally, it seemed like the spanking was over. Mom still held me in place as I cried my eyes out. But then I felt her reach for something, and suddenly an even sharper wave of pain swept through my bottom, as she continued punishing her naughty boy, but this time with a long wooden spoon.

The spanks were now much slower and more deliberately placed. My bottom was already very sore, and this was just unbearable. Mom also added a few smacks to my upper thighs for good measure.

Finally it was over. I was of course now in floods of tears. Mom ordered me to stand up. “Step out of those shorts and pants!” she ordered. I obeyed, and received a final hand smack to my left cheek for my trouble. “Right – get yourself off to bed, and let’s hope that sore bottom teaches you a good lesson!”

Well, it did. I never ever climbed on that bunker again, and even today it remains in that garden – a reminder of a fateful and very painful day.

Contributor: Ralph

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